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Reinforcement Learning for Spoken Dialogue Systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recently, a number of authors have proposed treating dialogue systems as Markov decision processes (MDPs). However, the practical application ofMDP algorithms to dialogue systems faces a number of severe technical challenges. We have built a general software tool (RLDS, for Reinforcement Learning for Dialogue Systems) based on the MDP framework, and have applied it to dialogue corpora gathered from two dialogue systems built at AT&T Labs. Our experiments demonstrate that RLDS holds promise as a tool for "browsing" and understanding correlations in complex, temporally dependent dialogue corpora.


Reinforcement Learning for Spoken Dialogue Systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recently, a number of authors have proposed treating dialogue systems as Markov decision processes (MDPs). However, the practical application ofMDP algorithms to dialogue systems faces a number of severe technical challenges. We have built a general software tool (RLDS, for Reinforcement Learning for Dialogue Systems) based on the MDP framework, and have applied it to dialogue corpora gathered from two dialogue systems built at AT&T Labs. Our experiments demonstrate that RLDS holds promise as a tool for "browsing" and understanding correlations in complex, temporally dependent dialogue corpora.


Reinforcement Learning for Spoken Dialogue Systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recently,a number of authorshave proposedtreating dialogue systems as Markov decision processes(MDPs). However,the practicalapplicationofMDP algorithms to dialogue systems faces a numberof severe technicalchallenges.We have built a general software tool (RLDS, for ReinforcementLearning for Dialogue Systems) on the MDP framework, and have applied it to dialogue corpora gatheredbased from two dialoguesystemsbuilt at AT&T Labs. Our experimentsdemonstratethat RLDS holds promise as a tool for "browsing" and understandingcorrelationsin complex, temporallydependentdialogue corpora.


Automatically Training a Problematic Dialogue Predictor for a Spoken Dialogue System

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Spoken dialogue systems promise efficient and natural access to a large variety of information sources and services from any phone. However, current spoken dialogue systems are deficient in their strategies for preventing, identifying and repairing problems that arise in the conversation. This paper reports results on automatically training a Problematic Dialogue Predictor to predict problematic human-computer dialogues using a corpus of 4692 dialogues collected with the 'How May I Help You' (SM) spoken dialogue system. The Problematic Dialogue Predictor can be immediately applied to the system's decision of whether to transfer the call to a human customer care agent, or be used as a cue to the system's dialogue manager to modify its behavior to repair problems, and even perhaps, to prevent them. We show that a Problematic Dialogue Predictor using automatically-obtainable features from the first two exchanges in the dialogue can predict problematic dialogues 13.2% more accurately than the baseline.


Optimizing Dialogue Management with Reinforcement Learning: Experiments with the NJFun System

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Designing the dialogue policy of a spoken dialogue system involves many nontrivial choices. This paper presents a reinforcement learning approach for automatically optimizing a dialogue policy, which addresses the technical challenges in applying reinforcement learning to a working dialogue system with human users. We report on the design, construction and empirical evaluation of NJFun, an experimental spoken dialogue system that provides users with access to information about fun things to do in New Jersey. Our results show that by optimizing its performance via reinforcement learning, NJFun measurably improves system performance.